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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced early on Tuesday morning that the state of Texas has filed a lawsuit against four states—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—at the United States Supreme Court for allegedly exploiting “the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election.”
“Trust in the integrity of our election processes is sacrosanct and binds our citizenry and the States in this Union together,” Paxton said in a statement. “Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election. The states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution.”
“By ignoring both state and federal law, these states have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections,” Paxton continued. “Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error.”
The lawsuit alleges that “certain officials in the Defendant States presented the pandemic as the justification for ignoring state laws regarding absentee and mail-in voting.” The lawsuit says that the result that was “less secure” in the Defendant States. It is worth noting that top U.S. election officials have disputed this claim, saying that last month’s elections were “the most secure in American history.”
The lawsuit continues:
This case presents a question of law: Did the Defendant States violate the Electors Clause by taking non-legislative actions to change the election rules that would govern the appointment of presidential electors? These non-legislative changes to the Defendant States’ election laws facilitated the casting and counting of ballots in violation of state law, which, in turn, violated the Electors Clause of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution. By these unlawful acts, the Defendant States have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but their actions have also debased the votes of citizens in Plaintiff State and other States that remained loyal to the Constitution.
“Elections for federal office must comport with federal constitutional standards. For presidential elections, each state must appoint its electors to the electoral college in a manner that complies with the Constitution,” Paxton said in a statement. “The Electors Clause requirement that only state legislatures may set the rules governing the appointment of electors and elections and cannot be delegated to local officials. The majority of the rushed decisions, made by local officials, were not approved by the state legislatures, thereby circumventing the Constitution.”
The lawsuit continues:
Without Defendant States’ combined 72 electoral votes, President Trump presumably has 232 electoral votes, and former Vice President Biden presumably has 234. Thus, Defendant States’ electors will determine the outcome of the election. Alternatively, if Defendant States are unable to certify 37 or more electors, neither candidate will have a majority in the Electoral College, in which case the election would devolve to the U.S. House of Representatives under the Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This report has been updated to include additional information.